Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My voice...My Time

I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing, and for lots of my life, that writing included lyrics and poetry. But there have been long periods when the need for technical writing and web writing took away the lyrics and the poetry. Then, without warning, the poems come back, like premonitions of a future I can't control. Sometime in the last 18 months, the poetry came back...and it seems to be sticking around.

I wrote a poem that I buried with my father last year, saying forever some of the things we couldn't talk about as he drifted into dementia.

I wrote poetry about the dogs playing in the snow, about New York, about treatments and about cancer.

Then, last January, Leroy Sievers blogged about wanting to run away, and I realized that I run away every day for a few minutes--every morning, while I argue with myself whether to get out of bed and face the day (or not.) I wrote it down, and then on a whim, sent the little poem to the annual contest sponsored by the local chapter of the National League of American Pen Women. Somebody liked it. So I got the call that I'd taken a 3rd prize in the adult division, and was invited to the awards ceremony and reading. Unfortunately, the ceremony and reading were held while I was in NYC, recovering from surgery. So my sister-in-law Linda B went in my place, and brought home the prizes (two books of poetry, a check for $25, and my poem, hand-calligraphed and framed with the award certificate.

Full disclosure--when I was in high school, I took a prize in the teen division of the same contest. My poem, 'Suburban Park,' was a kid's memory of the deserted amusement park I passed every day on my bus ride to school. No money, but I won a copy of Kahlil Gibran's 'The Prophet' which I read often. Every 40 years, I guess my poet's voice comes back. ;-)

So here is my voice...Leroy, my friend, this one's for you. For both of us, all of us, who've ever debated whether to get out of bed in the morning, and ever wondered what has become of our time to ourselves.

6:00 a.m. to 6:05--
five minutes, just for me.
Five minutes to run away, drift away--
be any place in the world but here.
Five minutes
before Madison kisses me awake,
before Casey brings me the tennis ball.
My time, alone in my head and my heart,
gathering myself to face another treatment
and another day.
Five minutes
without work,
without pressure,
without Xeloda or Kytril or radiation.
Five minutes between the first alarm
and the snooze button--my time.
At 6:06 a.m.
I will still have cancer,
but 6:00 a.m. to 6:05 a.m. are all mine.

1 comment:

  1. charlene9:29 PM

    hello gaelen,
    love your poem and congratulations on your 3rd prize award! nice to see another 'gibran' lover. although i have read most of his work, the 'prophet' has seen the most wear over the years.
    i enjoy reading your posts and
    as a fellow english cocker fancier, i do like your mentions of your four footed pals!
    i admire your strength and honesty with regard to your physical challenges. i, too, understand all too well.
    keep writing!!
    take good care,


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